Pakistani medical students' plight in Cuba

Pakistani students' plight: Senate body recommends fact-finding mission to Cuba
Islamabad, Sep 17: The Senate Standing Committee on Education on Tuesday recommended that the government send a delegation to Cuba after Eid to find facts about the reported plight of Pakistanis studying medicine there.

It suggested the name of Senator Dr Kausar Firdous as the Senate's representative in the proposed delegation. The committee, which met here with Senator Razina Alam Khan in the chair, also suggested that the students be provided with at least two return air tickets during their course and that their monthly stipend be increased from 50 euros to 100 euros. It, at the same time, asked the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to take Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC) on board on the issue.

Some members said the courses taught to Pakistani students in Cuba should be recognised by World Health Organisation (WHO) so that they could practice medicine on return. They also said Pakistani students should be taught Spanish in Pakistan and not in Cuba. Earlier, Senator Raza Muhammad Raza, who recently visited the Medical City in Cuba where Pakistani students are studying medicine on scholarship, told the committee that the courses being taught to Pakistanis in the Caribbean island were different from that of Pakistan. He said students were not sure whether they would get the WHO-recognised degrees.

He said the students were also confronting serious financial problems, unavailability of books, lack of lab and other facilities. HEC Chairman Dr Attaur Rehman informed the committee that he had held three meetings with the Cuban ambassador in Islamabad during which the diplomat assured him that Pakistani students would get ELAM degrees, which were in the process of being recognised by the WHO. He said the HEC was in contact with the Pakistan ambassador in Cuba, the PMDC and parents of the students.

The Foreign Office representatives told the meeting that they and the Pakistani ambassador to Cuba were in touch with the students. The committee urged the government to urgently provide funding for setting up nine new universities. It expressed serious concerns over the government's failure to release the HEC allocated funds. Dialy Times

Your Comments
"It is the better option for cuban students to aument their stipened and also provide them other facilities.But the main problem for them is to provide them better education so that they may compete here in pakistan.I have also been to Cuba and lived there for 10 months.Then I returned back because I was no sure of the degree.HEC should assure the students about the degree so that they might study in a proper way.THANKS."
Name: Gada Hussain
City, Country: Multan, Pakistan

"i want to study medicine in cuba somebody plz help me"
Name: saadia
City, Country: lahore, Pakistan

"Students still facing serious problems during thier studies in Cuba.The students were completed the two years study out of five years of thier scheduled study in Cuba but now these students were facing some serious problems. The Cuban Government was not providing teaching hospitals to the students for further studies, so there could be no doubt that the students careers might be adversely effected. Muhammad Irshad"
Name: Muhammad Irshad
City, Country: Lahore, Pakistan

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Girls school forcing students to change subjects
Islamabad: Administration of Federal Government Girls Higher Secondary School, G-6/1-4, is forcing all its students admitted to Pre-medical and Pre-engineering groups in Higher Secondary School Certificate Part-1 to change subjects if they want to continue studies at the school.

Earlier, the school had given admission to first-year students in Pre-medical and Pre-engineering groups and commenced their classes in the third week of August but now administration of the school has discontinued teaching students in the said groups. The school has asked students to change their choice of subjects from Pre-medical and Pre-engineering groups to Humanities group.

On Monday and Tuesday, the school administration called upon parents of the students, who were given admission in the said groups, and asked them to give their consent on changing subjects of their children otherwise they might take them away to some other school or college. The school informed the parents that it has decided to take no more classes in the two groups.

Parents of the students are much annoyed on the decision taken by the school particularly at a time when admissions to all educational institutions of the town in the first year have been closed down. "We are being forced to change choices of studies of our children which is in no way justified," said a widow on condition of anonymity whose daughter was given admission to Pre-engineering group at the school.

She added the school's decision at this time amounts to snatching rights of studies of young girls who want to study in the two groups as they are being forced to leave school. "Actually the school is forcing students to discontinue studies as they are unable to join any other school or college at this time to study in Pre-medical or Pre-engineering groups," she said in an infuriated tone adding why the school had given admission to the students in the said groups earlier.

"Now we have made up our minds to study in the said groups and how is it possible for us now to change our choices" is the stance of affected students. The parents and guardians of the "would-be" affected students also expressed annoyance on callous and discourteous attitude of the school staff towards young girls.

"How is it justified for educationists (the school staff) to ask rudely the students who are adamant to continue studies in the said groups to leave school if they don't want to change their subjects," said guardian of a student who wanted his name not to be published as it might affect future of the student.

Principal of the school Miss Shahnaz, when contacted, said the school has decided not to continue classes in Pre-medical and Pre-engineering groups and has asked students to change subjects if they want to continue studies at the school.

"We are doing nothing wrong rather following policy of Federal Directorate of Education according to which a student can study in any of the said groups if he or she had obtained above 65 per cent marks in Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examination," claimed Shahnaz to support her decision adding the school has only one student who had secured above 65 per cent marks in the SSC examination.

When asked if it was the case, why the students were given admission in the said groups, she said the policy was breached by mistake. "Neither the admission committee of the school nor I went through the policy at the time of admission," she said adding the school gave admission to students following a merit scheme and not the policy.

She added the school also does not have sufficient staff to teach subjects in the said groups. "I have submitted suggestions to the directorate requesting it to provide teachers to the school or accommodate girls who wanted to continue their studies in the said groups in some other educational institution or we will accommodate them in the existing groups, in humanities," she said adding the school has closed down teaching in Pre-medical and Pre-engineering groups.

When asked why the girls are being punished for a mistake done by the school administration, she has nothing to say but advocate that the students having less than 65 per cent marks in the SSC examination should not study in Pre-medical or Pre-engineering groups. "We have a long list of failures of students who have been given admission to the school last year despite having less than 65 per cent marks," added Shahnaz. The News

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